Pinterest is one of the most popular social media platforms used amongst bloggers, creatives, foodies, and all other alike. Its no secret that its known to be a top referrer of traffic for many of us. When optimally utilized it can be not only a main traffic source for your blog, but a place of inspiration and encouragement for your blog. On the same token, your blog can be just that for someone else, further building your readership and community. I’m going to share with you my tricks of trade for optimizing your blog for Pinterest.
Generally you want your pinnable images to be 736 X 1102 PX. This is the size that they will display at once clicked on in a desktop version of Pinterest’s website. An aspect ratio of 2:3 or 1:3.5 is ideal, so even if you don’t use the aforementioned dimensions, make sure your pinnable images have one of the two aspect ratios. Another plus to having images that large on your site, is that they add additional attractiveness to your posts, because larger images are more eye-catching and attracting than small ones. Readers are more likely to pin large, high-quality images than they are smaller, low-quality ones.
For my posts, I create an 800 X 1200 PX sized image for my Featured Image (the one that displays on my blog page). When someone goes to pin my post, Pinterest will pull in my Featured Image (which will be the larger image from the selection of images Pinterest pulls in) for someone to select. For my vertical in-post images, they are sized 600 X 750 PX, still relatively large, as well and meeting the minimum optimal width requirement for Pinterest.
Naming your images via inputting the title of it in the Alt Text field once you upload it to your site is crucial for you pinball images. The Alt Text is so important, because Pinterest pulls it and includes it in the description of your pin automatically. Including Alt Text is also good of SEO purposes. If there is no Atl Text included, or Meta Description (which will be discussed below) then your pins will have no description or whatever file name you have saved your image as will be included in the description. The likelihood of your pin being repinned is a lot lower without a good description.
The meta description is the the black text under the title in a search result. It must contain the keyword that was searched for it to be effective. You can assign meta descriptions if you’re using a plugin like Yoast in your post editor in WordPress. Pinterest will pull in your meta description automatically (most of the time) when someone pins an image from a post on your site. This will give your pin a better and more detailed description than the Alt Text.
Rich Pins are another great way to optimize your blog posts for Pinterest, or rather vice versa. When your pins are classified as Rich Pins, they include additional information, like that of what is found in your meta description. There are six different types of Rich Pins; apps, movies, recipes, articles, products and places that pins can be categorized into. Blog posts fall under the articles category of Rich Pins, so this is the Rich Pin that you want to apply for when you go through the application process for Rich Pins. Once your site is enabled for Rich Pins, all of your pins will contain a link back the respective pages with the correct meta tags. The process takes about a week, sometimes longer to be approved (or disapproved). There is no other work done on your end once your site is enabled for Rich Pins and all of your previous and future will be classified as Rich Pins automatically by Pinterest.
Rich Pins make your pins look more legit and professional, and drive more traffic to your site because of this. Additionally, they increase the likelihood of your pins getting repined and people trusting that the content on your site is high quality. You will also see on all pins classified as Rich Pins, that the site that the pin came from features the site’s favicon. The fact that your pins will feature your site’s favicon further solidifies the legitimacy of it and that it comes from a trusted and credible source. You can find out more about Rich Pins and apply for them here.
Pin It Button
Making it super easy for readers to pin your posts is essential for optimizing your blog for Pinterest. While many of us have the Pinterest extension installed on our browsers, making it easy to pin images directly for our Favorites or Bookmarks bar, some don’t. Even if your visitors have a browser extension allowing them to share and pin images, its so much more convenient for them to be able to hover over your image and click to pin it. This makes the pinning process easy, straightforward, and lessens the amount of work someone may have to do to other pin your images.
Here on the blog I actually use a plugin for my pin it button, that makes it so easy to add a button, and a custom one at that. The plugin I use is called jQuery Pin It Button for Images. Its free and can simply be installed through the WordPress.org plugin repository. Once in the setting you can customize your button to however you would like, and even upload a custom one. The great thing about this particular plugin is that it allows me to pick when and where I want the pin it button to be available on my site. I can even set the button to be active on certain posts and pages right in my editor. The plugin also allows you to upload a retina ready custom button, so you pin button will display crisp on retina screens. This may appear to be a minor thing in terms of design, but all of the images and graphics on your site should be high quality, from the smallest to the largest. Its one more thing to add to the professional quality of your site and brand.
Pinterest doesn’t allow many social media scheduling services to be able to schedule pins. There are a few out there, such a Ahalogy, Buffer, and Tailwind, however they do charge for the service or its not widely available to many yet. I recommend pinning your post as soon as they go live or soon after. This applies whether you’re using a scheduling service or not. The sooner you can get your pin on Pinterest, the sooner it can begin driving traffic to your site and being shared and repinned.
One of the keys to making Pinterest work for you, is to actually be on it. You must give to receive, just as it is with many things in life. When you’re active on Pinterest, pinning, repining, and liking your strengthening your presence on the platform. The days in which I’m more active on Pinterest, my numbers definitely reflect it. Although it may seem difficult to have a presence on Pinterest, you do even if its a passive one. The more you pin and repin, the higher the odds that your profile will pop up in the feeds. You have to share more than just your own content for this to be effective, which is why repining so crucial to your success on Pinterest. In actuality, repining fosters more of a following, because users can see that your sharing other useful content. The assumption is that if you’re pinning and repining useful content on Pinterest, then you’re probably doing the same on your site.
Your Pinterest boards should be relatively reflective of your brand. Consistency across them adds to aesthetic of your brand and shows others some of your other interests. Its an opportunity for you to show a bit more of your personality and things outside of your business or blog. This is another way that trust is established and how you can serve as an inspiration to others. When it comes to any social media platform, your goal should be to inspire. Just as you would go about doing on your website, blog, or email newsletter, other’s need to walk away feeling like they’ve gained something. Pinterest allows you to do this on a large scale, by organizing content into boards. They’ve made it super easy for you to be able to explore and access other users’ content. By insuring that your pins are accurately organized into boards, you make it easy for other users to explore, access, and share your content.
I’ve created a Pinterest Posting Quick Reference Guide as a resource to help you post to Pinterest more effectively.
The possibilities are endless with Pinterest and I honestly don’t see an end in site for it. It is a unique and vastly growing platform, and one of the best for bloggers and creatives. By optimizing your blog for Pinterest, you’re tapping into all that it has to offer. There is no better time like now than to utilize all of the features that it has to grow your blog, business and community!
Listen to more about this topic on the Branded Bliss Podcast!
Have do you use Pinterest to optimize your blog? – What are some of your favorite features about it?